The soccer news starts with Manchester United losing 3-1 at Liverpool on Sunday. The latest setback for Jose Mourinho's team quickly became the major talking point. The focus stays on Mourinho, the January transfer window, and the knockout round of the 2018-19 Champions League.
United's loss at Anfield showed more of the problems with this team. As always when talking about a super club, Manchester United isn't anywhere near complete collapse. They're in 6th-place in the Premier League, but there's an 8-point gap between them and 5th-place Arsenal. There are five teams behind Manchester United within three points.
"We can still finish fourth," Mourinho said following the Liverpool loss. "It’s not easy, but for sure we are going to finish in the top six like all the other historically top teams but the best we can get is the fourth position. Right now we need to look to fifth and probably later we can look to the fourth.”
Talking about 4th-place in mid-December isn't the expectation, with the January transfer window potentially causing more issues for United. That's the situation when Paul Pogba isn't playing. Mourinho's lineup choices aren't helping relieve the pressure and neither is the Champions League draw.
Whatever version of Manchester United emerges from the January window, they'll be playing PSG in February. It's hard to come up with a scenario where Manchester United has the advantage. ESPN's Mark Ogden works through United's issues this season. The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson asks why Manchester United is in this situation. The South China Morning Post's Andy Mitten focuses on the situation for the fans. The NY Times' Rory Smith looks at Manchester United still generating the most revenue in the Premier League. The Manchester Evening News' Charlotte Duncker with PSG and United's response to the draw. The Mirror's Andy Dunn has Liverpool sending a message to the other Manchester team. SI.com's Avi Creditor on the round of 16.
The rest of the Champions League draw:
Schalke vs Manchester City
Atletico Madrid vs Juventus
Spurs vs Borussia Dortmund
Lyon vs Barcelona
Roma vs Porto
Ajax vs Real Madrid
Liverpool vs Bayern Munich
For the USMNT players, January also looms for Borussia Dortmund and Christian Pulisic. With Pulisic not signing a new deal with Dortmund, a move seems likely. At least according to the media reports linking him with Premier League teams. Borussia Dortmund vs Spurs is an interesting series without a clear favorite. Weston McKennie's Schalke is in a different situation, overmatched against a Manchester City team that's arguably the title contender.
"We’re really looking forward to the matches against Manchester City," Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco said. "We’ve been given very attractive opponents for ourselves and our fans to enjoy. We are underdogs to progress but won’t be nervous to face the Premier League champions. We will do everything we can to potentially cause an upset."
Also in the soccer news, FC Dallas promoted academy director Luchi Gonzalez to head coach. “Since joining FC Dallas, Luchi has proven himself to be a championship-caliber coach within our Academy who has incredible knowledge of the game on every level,” FC Dallas president Dan Hunt said. "During our exhaustive head coaching search, it was clear that his philosophical approach to the game and love for this organization make him the right choice to guide the future of our first team."
Former USMNT interim coach Dave Sarachan is now the coach of USL club North Carolina FC. Goal's Jon Arnold with Club America winning the 2018 Liga MX Apertura. Inside World Football's Paul Nicholson explains why beIN Sport isn't available on Comcast.
AP's Ciaran Fahey on Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table. Reuters' Richard Martin updates the situation with Shaq Moore's Reus where the Segunda B club was in danger of suspension for not paying players.
🏆 🏆🏆— Club América (@ClubAmerica_EN) December 17, 2018
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